Unemployed Face Stigma Regardless of Time Between Jobs, Study Says

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 2:11pm by

As anyone running for a political office right now will tell you, the number one crisis facing the nation today is unemployment. According to the Huffington Post, more than five million Americans have been between jobs for at least six months. Unfortunately for them, new research suggests that unemployment of any kind is a major strike against job seekers.

“We found bias against the jobless among human resources professionals as well as among the broader public, virtually from the outset of unemployment,” said Geoffrey C. Ho of the UCLA Anderson School of Management and co-author of the study. Margaret Shih and Daniel J. Walters of UCLA Anderson and Todd Lowell Pittinsky from Stony Brook University also contributed to the report.

Little Sympathy for the Jobless

Researchers performed three experiments to gauge attitudes about job seekers. Human resources professionals examined sets of identical resumes and said they were more likely to pick the applicant that was listed as employed versus unemployed. College students said they felt the same towards laid off applicants as they did towards applicants who voluntarily left their jobs. A third study found that people felt slightly more sympathetic towards people whose previous employer went out of business.

“What does allay people’s bias is some explicit indication that losing your job was not your fault,” Ho said.

Importance of Proper Hiring and Firing

This research underscores how important it is for employers to obey the law when letting someone go. Unemployed people face many obstacles in their job search, including this assumption that they deserve their unemployment. If you believe that your employer unfairly fired you due to workplace discrimination or whistleblowing, you may be entitled to seek justice against them. Call us today to set up a free consultation: (305) 330-6090.

Sarelson Law FirmMiami employment attorneys

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